1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”
With these last two ‘basics’ (BSCS) many commentators believe that these two imperatives, “Be courageous; be strong” echo the language of Psalm 31:24, where precisely the same two verbs are used.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!
“Of course, Paul’s simple and straightforward exhortations make perfect sense to a reader who does not hear the Psalm echo, but those who do hear will understand that strength and courage are rooted in love for God and set in opposition to boasting and arrogance. Authentic strength is grounded in trustful waiting for the Lord…” [R. Hays]
Perhaps the hardest part of love is seeing that it completes the transforming work that it was expressed to do. No matter what, carrying it through to its beautiful outcome. This kind of enduring strength and courage cannot be derived from self, but only from God. We can be strong in love for one another to the very end because we know that God is and will always work victoriously in love.
Let’s use Psalm 31:23-24 as a framework for how we pray today for our churches, campuses, families, and friends. Pray for God’s ‘outcome’ in our lives. And let’s worship to, “Cornerstone” (click here) led by Hillsong.